I have done my homework and calculations, these few have absolutely no chance of failing me.
1. 北平无战事/All Quiet in Beijing (60 episodes)
Year 1948, last leg of the war between the parties claiming right to rule the nation. Communist spies deep undercover permeating KMT have the mission of annihilating the corrupted money trail supplying gold to Taiwan…a target is the bank our hero’s father is running. On another front, students are demanding their own rights and freedom, fighting their own fight in the line of fire. Same PD is Battle of ChangSha Mr. 孔笙, from the writer of 大明王朝1566 /Da Ming Wang Chao 1566 aka you have not seen the most brilliant imperial cockfighting/intrigue until you see this. This is starring 刘烨 (23 when he won his Golden Horse lest we forget)、 陈宝国 (Our Ming Jiajing Emperor, our Emperor Wu of Han of easily the most terrific C historicals produced) 、焦晃 (KangXi Emperor in YongZheng Dynasty another on my best Cdrama list)、倪大红(Qiao’s Mansion, New 3 Kingdom)、王庆祥(ZYZ’s Papa/Sifu in WKW’s The Grandmaster)、廖凡 (freshly won Best Actor Silver Bear at Berlinale playing a scary scary man, but here the nerdy professor)、董勇(Black Hole <3) … I can go on. Mind is blown, what obscene budget do you drama peeps have in CN?!?!?
2. 琅琊榜/Nirvana in Fire. PD 孔笙 again. Everything trickling out from that production is exactly my thing, my aesthetics. Please be Awesome. I need one fantabulous ‘idol’period before I feed that genre to the sharks
Have a fanvid of HuGe as hero Mei ChangSu:
I love how every BTS is soothing my eyes with all the intricate props and coordinated harmonious coloring.
Even side characters are properly costumed.
I am not sure how I feel about the chemistry of the OTP, this is quite noona romance from the looks of it. But romance does not play a large role in this being awesome, I trust.
王 凯/ Wang Kai (left) was eye-catching handsome in the trailer of All Quiet in Beijing already, I won’t be surprised he steals some of HuGe’s thunder here.
I mean I will forever have a soft spot for HuGe, but he has never wow’ed me irrevocably in one super terrific job. That is why I can not wait for him to slain me gloriously in all the angst of his Mei Changsu here, at 17, the teenager was wrung through the horror of war fighting by the side of his father, their army unexpectedly schemed and obliterated and he cheated death, assumed new identity, plotted his revenge, aided his prince…then died a super glorious death on the battlefield as his mind is set on how the traumatized young boy, his old self, should. Don’t get me wrong, I think he is all-rounded solidly good but just missing that tiny explosiveness, the little abandon, certain something. I can always see the seams of his acting…when it is my peeve exactly to notice the effort. I do not care for him in comedy where he tends to OTT, I insist his face is made for Angst and Melancholy! He is currently in the talk of the town 生活启示录/Sheng Huo Qi Shi Lu, venturing out from his usual idol dramas, and this is more slice of life modern adult romance trendy atm, playing the much younger hottie love interest of a middle aged preggie divorcee played by one of the top notch working C actress 闫妮 / Yan Ni who can convince you with every character she does. Her line reading must be the best of the industry like melted drips of gold precious to ears. He is quite good in it, but I just do not think he has the comedic timing and he is trying too hard, coming off a hint hammy. This is not a rec, I’ve dropped it myself after a few episodes, it has its bright moments, but other than the OTP, everyone else is insufferable.
This is our world when C dramas are giving us the hottest smooches in Asia everywhere I look. It is bizarre!
Lady breaks in the middle of smoochinga HuGe and asks the silly lightbulb to go, ‘Call the cops.’
3. 四十九日•祭/49 Days of Sacrifice.
…While the fangirl world will be spazzing all over the hot and grimed HuGe. I am all for serious C war dramas to throw in the bone for us very shallow meek whims, which will swarm the channels with the stupid Chinese Dream propaganda in effect by SARFT ran by a bunch of mental morons, to cast all the super pretty idol boys who can decently act and are aging finely, put them in uniforms and angst, dying glorious deaths, draining all our tears.
My bet is on Song Jia and Zhang Jia Yi and PD 张黎 carrying the show to all its glory. I think Song Jia is almost at Maggie Cheung’s caliber of nuanced awesome at the same age, she is NEVER bad, and at the top of her game currently winning all the awards, she does not attach herself in anything not worth her time now. Zhang Jia Yi is one of the best, I would argue he is better than Chen Dao Ming because he can scrub all of his big name heft and play a nobody. Any drama he touches, gold, and he touches lots with wide variety. PD is responsible for two of my favorite Cdramas. It gives me comfort and more confident with writer Yan GeLing adapting the script herself.
4. 平凡的世界/World of Plainness/Ordinary World.
I am taking a break from the novel (because I am distracted by the very pretty Wallace H, so so soooo shallow me) , but it is page turning perfect. tbvh, if Loverboy did not come up with something kickass awesome, both drama, and his job in it, I will cheat on him with brighter sparkling hot men. I am such a cruel fangirl there is nothing I can do about it. Thank goodness this looks very promising. ShaoPing’s solace and pleasure in his dreary harsh life is books, and that gives him all the miraculous hope and strength to brave his world, be it when he is a dirt poor student, a coal miner, and repaying society as a fine teacher, through life’s little joys and sadistic tribulations. You do not get more textbook leit motif stoking SARFT to purr like a happy cat depicting the positive Dream of China it listed as a theme, a criteria for all dramas broadcasted the rest of the year than this so I am sure once this has wrapped and ready, it will be promptly on the tele.
The PD is keeping my hopes and expectations so high with all the bts he is posting. Look how rich and gorgeous this is, every snap has a lovely story to tell:
YH’s ShaoPin and his OTP looking exactly like the untainted unadorned young romance of that bygone era:
4. 红高粱/Red Sorghum
When you are anticipating a drama with ZHOUXUN and the rising leading man Zhu YaWen (and Huang Xuan) in something as high profile as Red Sorghum, from the PD of Legend of Zhen Huan, good news it will get a swift air date. Bad news, it is still slow ass speed September, I NEED IT NOWWWW!
It is very hot here. Very.
5. 你照亮我星球/You Light Up My Star
Joe and Janine are playing 2 actors, star-crossed, and it is their story criscrossing as they rise to stardom.
The previous 4 dramas I am betting my head and limbs they would be 8/10 and above. This one, a TWdrama, I can not be as sure, PD Winnie rubbed me wrong with In Time With You, but this already owns my heart with the 20+ min trailer and I am bunching it here in brute force, hoping, willing it to be as good as its company above. It is almost 10 years since ISWAK, and I have not seen JoeCheng in anything worthy since. TBTP, you owe him one! WHAT A FREAKEN SHAME. He has talent, he is not perfect, nor very skilled but a natural the camera loves him and his imperfections, and he is infectious. Let him be in something deserving his charisma, we fangirls need it to not break our hearts yet again just for a JoeCheng fix:
Arjoe shippers are projecting this as their story. I do not see it myself, Joe is named a character away from Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung for Janine, but it is another level of intrigue inserting their RL persona.